Trekathon 848: Charades (SNW)

Five words. TV series. First word… Spoilers

The first 10 minutes of this episode had me pretty worried. Is this going to be too much of Chapel/Spock? And are we going to see hijinks, as the music was suggesting? Thankfully the answers were yes and no. While it’s a bit of a silly plot (almost cliche really), it’s treated with the utmost seriousness. Which somehow makes it work.

The centrepiece is some beautiful acting from Ethan Peck. Playing Spock as Human, but from a place of having been Vulcan. Very subtle, and accomplished. And then adding on top of that the layer of pretending to actually be Vulcan again. I’m not entirely sure of how an actor can keep that much in their head at once.

Chapel gets a good story as well, fare more interesting than what I feared. A lot of work to force her into admitting her feelings for Spock, but it’s done nicely. She gets some growth, and at the end of the episode gets the Vulcan. Well, half-Vulcan. And from a lore perspective at the same time the story is doing a lot of work to rehabilitate T’Pring in Amok Time.

Overall a great fun episode, which dug itself out of a few minutes of clumsy setup at the top of the hour.

Quick hits:

  • Why do they need to spend a ship to do a survey at Vulcan? Surely the Vulcan Science Academy is all over that…

  • What on earth is ‘sub impulse’ speed?

  • The definition of archaeological medicine is a nice bit of world building.

  • That was a nicely done awkward lift moment, relying just on visual cues rather than dialog.

  • Odd structure to the start of the episode, with two logs.

  • Oh, love the classic TOS style music sting at the end of the teaser.

  • I love the super powerful alien being all ‘you called me dude’.

  • LOL, Spock is hangry.

  • Why is Sam Kirk the only one who brings snacks to the Science Department meetings? Bit of a rude move.

  • OK La’an – if you think Spock is acting like a teenager, then you should probably lock him up. You know where this is going.

  • The direction in this episode is very confident about the actors and their ability to use their faces to communicate rather than words.

  • Heading hijinks-ward at a rapid pace here.

  • Vulcan engagement rituals are pretty hard core.

  • I immediately felt very sorry for T’Prill’s husband.

  • Personally I would have suggested a local anaesthetic on Spock’s hands for the tea part of the ritual.

  • Real ‘Customer Service helpline’ energy from the super powerful aliens this week.

  • ‘Disrespect your family name’ – um, Vulcans don’t have family names?

  • OK, what is going to happen with the ears? Surely a new set is going to grow under the false ones?

848 down.